Fifteen Feet of Separation

A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the New York Times about a Buddhist couple who chose to live their lives never being separated by more than fifteen feet. They shared food, books, bed, and the rest of their daily existence never far apart.

It struck me that that is a level of committed intimacy that most of us couldn't handle, and I wondered how we would be different with each other, having shared that level of intimacy on a daily basis.

I think it would be an interesting, deepening challenge to attempt. Even for a day.

Like this couple did:


  1. wow... I can't imagine doing that!

  2. TBH there are plenty of days we've never been more than about 30 feet apart, and if work and general stuff didn't get in the way I think we'd have no trouble with that. The 15ft idea - it seems a little unfair to make your partner come upstairs when you want the loo!

  3. Ditto what Toni said, ok fewer days but there are still a fair number of them where Kita and I spend the whole time within the house/garden. I find most of the time its a natural thing and whilst no conversation or any interaction is taking place and we can both be up to our own thing its awesome that she is there for me and just her presence relaxes me. I suspect the toilet could get a bit annoying though, think I'd have to invest in a downstairs loo if a challenge like this went on for more than a couple of days!

  4. I’m much too human for that kind of life.

    I think I prefer a commitment that allows one to sustain a close relationship even if there is physical separation.

    There is no way that I am going to sit that close while my spouse is on the “loo” or go trotting around the golf course for hours, or even be there while he is simply working, in a meeting or whatever.

    Glad we are not called to this sort of self denial.

  5. It's also about ministry. My wife and I are quite close, but she went to school an hours drive away for awhile. Next week she flies to Ontario for a writers' conference while I am in Alberta for a denominational conference.

    If one lived in a commune and was self-employed it could be do-able. If we had this attitude with Jesus (which is certainly more do-able), and in essence most of us do, how would that change our life? Maybe the challenge is to carry a bag or a book (hmmmm maybe a Bible) as a reminder that He is with us forever would be a great project. I am sure it would even lead to outreach opportunities!


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